Colour 500-Series Palette mkII


Add three stages of real analog color to your setup in a single 500-series slot.

Revamped Controls. Dial in exactly the signal path you want with individual drive/trim knobs and bypass switches for each Colour. 21-position stepped controls make stereo matching and recall easy.

Still Radically Affordable. Despite featuring new controls, an upgraded signal path, and aluminum knobs (formerly a premium upgrade), the Palette mkII still comes in at an unbelievable price point.

Even DIY Friendlier. The Palette mkII is a painstakingly thought out and documented kit. Over the last few years, we've seen seen every possible snag a DIY project can hit, and built every way we can think of to prevent those snags into this kit.


Full Features List

  • 3 Colour sockets. Colour modules are sold separately. Browse our ever-broadening Colour spectrum.
  • Individual knobs and switches for each Colour
  • Master output trim/boost control
  • 21-position detented potentiometers for stereo matching and recall
  • Anodized aluminum knobs (previously an upgrade, now stock!)
  • Customize your signal chain by swapping Colours' positions
  • Ultra-transparent signal path when Colours are bypassed
  • Electronically balanced, line-level inputs and outputs
  • RGB indicator LEDs automatically light up to the hue of the Colours installed
  • Compatible with the 500-series format
  • Kit includes every part need to complete the Palette

What the Pros are Saying

"The Colour system is a fascinating example of what can be done with analogue electronics, and produces some great textures. If you have a 500-series with space for another module or two, this is a no-brainer."

-Mike Hillier

"I can't say enough good things about Colour. This product embodies everything Tape Op is about. It's rooted in DIY; it sounds good; and it's inexpensive, novel, fun, and wide open for experimentation. Right on."

-Scott Evans
TapeOp Magazine #107

"...the whole concept and execution works brilliantly: DIYRE’s Colour platform is a great way to add a little analogue character to your setup, or to dip those first tentative toes into the world of DIY."

-Matt Houghton
Sound on Sound Magazine

Signal Path

The balanced, line-level input signal is received via a THAT Corp. 1256 integrated circuit. From there, the signal passes through each Colour stage in series.

Each Colour stage includes a bypass switch and combined drive/trim control. The drive/trim control is a dual potentiometer that controls both a drive amplifier before the Colour and corresponding attenuator after the Colour. The result is that the Colour's intensity increases/decreases while the net gain remains the same.

The Colour stages are followed by a master output trim/boost control and bypass switch. Finally, the output signal is balanced via a THAT Corp. 1646 line driver IC.


Input Impedance 24kΩ 
Output Impedance 50Ω
Colour Controls Gain Range 0-18dB
Output Control Gain Range +/-6dB
Max Input Level 27.5dBu
Power Supply Voltage +/-16VDC
Power Supply Current 140mA max (with three Colours installed)
Chassis Requirements Compatible with any 500-series rack
Nominal Operating Level +4dBu

Customer Reviews

Based on 21 reviews
Richard Brackin
Easy build, great colour (or not!!!) preamp!!

One of my first builds. Got one to see if I could do it AND I DID!!!! I usually assemble guitar pedals so this was my first rack mounted DIY preamp. Really happy to have it. Pairing it with the Royal Blue and the 4000 colour module. It's eye(ear)-opening routing Logic through this mono channel - synths, bass, guitars, etc. Excellent instructions, and wonderful, prompt support after the finished build (I had a dumb question that was professionally answered). Will be adding an identical second channel soon for stereo work.

Antonio Grazioli
Easy build - affordable kit

Nice and easy/intermediate kit to build, took me about 1 hour and a half, nice adddition to my other MKI modules!

Lucious Harris

Colour 500-Series Palette mkII

Just finished my first pallet :)

This is my second DIYRE project, and as expected it went about as smooth as possible. I made the G-bus first and now this and did the pallet in about 2 hours!

I did another DIY build from somewhere else in between, and not to disparage anyone from getting other DIY projects, but lets just say I was so happy to have such detailed build docs when I came to build this after the other project!

rauri finan
Great Satisfying Build

Finally took the plunge on 500 series based home studio and corresponding DIY gear. I started off with some simple Amazon solder practice toys, guitar pickup and electronics swaps, progressed onto 3 colour modules and then this a here Colour Palette. Next ...the G BUS and a few more modules...
I built 2 Colour Palettes simultaneously in about 4-5 hours, bear in mind I am absolutely meticulous about NOT screwing up. The instructions are absolutely idiot proof... the parts guide is handy, the step by step instructions are crystal clear and the interactive build guide is a big bonus.
I have stacked my two Colour Palettes with the CTX, TM79 and Colourupter modules for stair-y air-y OH! Could one achieve similar results with plugins... sure... maybe... BUT I BUILT these puppies and get an immense amount of satisfaction from rearranging the cascading modules, punching in/out the buttons and turning the knobs to discover how it affects my recordings! I find myself thinking about rearranging the modules and the affect they may have on various mics/instruments/tracks when I'm not in my home studio... that's never happened with a plugin... INSPIRADO!
If you haven't already ...check out the DIYRE YouTube channel and the DIYRE blog article "Sonic Varnish."

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